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In My Hands... By Callie J.
Transcript of In My Hands... By Callie J.
Basics of the Holocaust
Main Characters in the Book
About the Book
Title: In My Hands
Author(s): Irene Gut Opdyke and Jennifer Armstrong
Publishing Date: September 2004
Copyright Year: 1999
Publishing Company: Dell Laurel-Leaf, NY, USA
Pages: 263 + Reader's Guide and German Pronunciation Guide in back (Roughly 20 pages long)
In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust survivor
Questions for the Audience
You don't have to answer these, you can if you want, but these are just some questions to test how well you listened. A tribute to all those who aren't paying attention at all! (ahem)
But, before we talk more about the book, let's begin with the time period...
Summary of Irene's Life
Soviet Invasion: WWII
Not only did the Germans invade, but there were others, too. Another important piece of this book was the...
What EXACTLY is this book about, anyway?!
Summary of Irene's Life
Summary from http://www.powells.com/biblio/9780679891819
"Irene Gut was sixteen years old in 1939 when first the Germans and then the Russians invaded her native Poland. Along with many other Catholic Poles, Irene was forced to work for the German army, but she defied them in every other way.
While working in the kitchen and laundry room of a Nazi barracks, she saved hundreds of lives by warning Jews in the Ternopol Ghetto of impending raids and by regularly smuggling food and supplies to those hiding in the Polish forest.
Given the job of housekeeper in a German Major's villa, Irene managed to smuggle twelve Jewish people into the basement of his home just hours before the ghetto was to be liquidated. She hid them successfully for nearly a year before they were discovered by the Major. The Germans eventually began losing ground to the Russians and she was able to help her wards escape into the woods.
When the Germans were driven from Poland, the Russians remained and Irene continued to fight the injustices she saw. She joined a successful group of partisans and soon found herself on the Russian Red Army's Most Wanted list. In an ironic twist of fate, she was herself hidden by the same Jews she had hidden in the German Major's basement.
Irene learned that her mother and sisters had been arrested by the Russians in hopes that they would reveal her whereabouts. Knowing she would only endanger her family more by trying to contact them, Irene allowed her friends to smuggle her into a Jewish camp. There she was interviewed by William Opdyke, a delegate from the United Nations, who approved her migration to the United States. And so, at age 26, Irene sailed alone into New York harbor to begin a new life."
Questions for YOU
(And yes, there are answers, too)
A Soviet Soldier
Soviet war plane
Escaping an Explosion
Nazis Taking a Jewish man
Swastika: German Loyalty Symbol
Born: 20 April 1889
Died: 30 April 1945
*Became Chancellor of Germany in 1933
*Became leader of Nazi Party in 1921
*Was responsible for the Holocaust
*Commited suicide after Nazis started losing
the war when the Russians came in to
*Lasted 1939 - 1945 6 years
*Began with German invasion of Poland, continued until Russians had control over Poland.
*Was devastating to the population of the Jewish.
*One of two biggest wars ever.
Credit to Wikepedia.com and (other site named earlier)
Description of "In My Hands"
"In My Hands" is basically a recorded story (told by Irene Gut Opdyke, a Holocaust survivor) of one person's own experience of the Holocaust in Poland. It explains how one person goes through the breaking apart of a family, being caught and escaping from Germans and Russians multiple times, and making friends along the way. This person was a big part of the Holocaust resistance, also, most known for hiding Jewish until the war was over.
1) How long did WWII last?
2) What job did Irene originally go to school for?
3) Who pushed the Germans out of Poland, only to control the country for themselves?
4) Why was Irene mistaken (fortunately) to be German multiple times? (2 main reasons)
Answers to the Questions!
1) WWII basically lasted for 6 years, 1939 to 1945. Not all of this was in Poland, but the war began in this country when the Germans invaded.
2) Irene went to school to become a nurse before the war.
3) The Soviet Army (also called the Russians or Communists) 'pushed' the Germans out of Poland, just to stay and control Poland for themselves.
4) Irene was twice mistaken to be German because of:
A) She had the blond hair and blue eyes of a German, and
B) She could speak German fluently.
A book presentation on....
* Soviets sent warnings to Nazis of a Russian
invasion and takeover of Poland
* Most Nazis evacuated, rest executed by Soviets.
*Russian troops entered Poland by storm,
destroying anything in their path.
*After pushing out German troops, Soviets continued to destroy Poland
*Soon after, Soviet claimed Poland as their own, causing Polish to become part of a major Communist group, thus removing the
country's name 'Poland' temporarily
List of Main Characters
Irene: The main(est) character, the one the story's about
Janina: Irene's closest sister out of five
Herr Major/Major Rugemer: German major who hired Irene
Tatus & Mamusia: Irene's parents
(Tatus & Mamusia are the Polish words for mom and dad)
Also, many (over 25) Jewish captives that she kept hidden until Germans left, then let them go back out.
(No pictures of anyone besides Irene)
Besides Irene, no character
in this book lasted longer
than four chapters. Some only stayed for two or three pages, as Irene traveled frequently during the war.